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Old 04-26-2011, 11:14 PM   #1
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New To Autox - And, Tire Questions

Just grabbed a 2012 Focus SE earlier this month, and would like to get it in some autocross events. I'm going to watch a few times before I actually start driving in them to try and get the feel for them...hopefully even get to ride with a few folks. What are some good clubs in Metro Detroit that tend to be a bit smaller (crowd wise) and more newb friendly? Not looking to bother the real competitive folks right now...I hate being 'that guy'.

Also, I was wondering about tires for competing. Right now I have the stock Continental ContiPro in 215/50/17. Having checked out Tire Rack and Discount Tire, it doesn't look like there's a huge selection for this tire size. The ContiPro's seem to do OK on the street but not sure how they'd do on the track. For those who know more about this sort of thing, will I be better off with different tires, or will these ones suffice? I would like these to be used during the warmer months, not looking for dedicated track tires. Will throw on snow tires in the winter.


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Old 04-27-2011, 11:37 AM   #2
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I think the detroit region scca club is probably a good bet. I think there is a private sports car club that runs events in the area as well, the name escapes me at the moment.

I say show up and run in a novice class, I always give mad props to people running autox with temp plates :D

Every club you find is going to have its own subgroups, the serious guys to the fun guys. You just have to feel them out.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:39 AM   #3
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Regarding tires, look in the 215/45/17 size, tons of options there.
For what to use in competeing, try a few times and see how it goes. From there, another set of stock wheels (find them cheap, used) with some sticky tires could be a good place to start.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:47 AM   #4
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Will using the different size tires effect the speedo or odometer? Or will it be too small a difference to matter? I'd prefer to buy some summer tires I can use all season long (road and track), and winter tires on separate wheels. The tires I have now supposedly have pretty awful tread life, and suck in the snow. So I don't want to run them bald and have to buy new tires at the end of the lease, would rather just buy new ones new, use them until the lease is up and put the originals back on to avoid the costs if I don't buyout the car.

I only manage about 10k miles a year right now MAX anyways (usually closer to 8-9k), so if about 2/3 of that is on summer tires I should be able to buy some good, sticky tires and have enough tread to last me through the lease. Do you think that's a proper way to go about this, or should I have dedicated track tires? I'm thinking my way will be a little cheaper at least...don't need an extra set of wheels (snow tires can be on cheap-o wheels), and don't need to keep swapping wheels when I want to go to the track.
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:04 PM   #5
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I won't matter to much. Maybe in the faster speeds, but not enough to bother anything.

If you are just starting out ... I would say find a good medium sticky Summer tire that's good for the daily drive. When you come to a point where you want to start better competing then look for separate wheels and tires to run strictly for the races.

For somewhat sticky tires and good on the road ... I like my Yokohoma S.Drives. If you are looking at price. Check out TireRack first then if you want them soon, take the quote from TireRack and walk into a Discount Tire. They will match the price, if you don't want to wait for shipping.

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Old 04-27-2011, 01:04 PM   #6
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Cool I'll check out those tires.

What about insurance when on the track? I've done some searching but didn't find much...I do know my current coverage won't help me there. I was looking for single day coverage but most I found was for driving school coverage and not timed events.
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:39 PM   #7
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^^ Don't crash :D
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:50 PM   #8
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just jump into it, you can easily get a ride along before you drive the course.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:11 AM   #9
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AutoX is a time trial type of race so, you won't need a special insurance for it. Besides the moment you tell your insurance agent that you race your car ... your rates will jump 2,3 even 4x as much.

I asked mine a long time ago, and she said don't bring it up again unless I was doing it professionally. It's really costly.

You would need to be doing the hardcore road rally, road race or rally cross to be in a different insurance bracket.

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Old 04-28-2011, 10:36 AM   #10
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I asked my agent about it and he said 'NO'. I'll ask him again and clarify a bit next time I see him in person...and I'll check my paperwork as well. Sounds like hitting anything hard/solid is pretty rare anyways...I'll just have to make sure the course looks good and doesn't offer any chances to throw myself into a curb or light post or something.
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